Year Released: 2004
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 93 minutes
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I always kinda thought, back when I was in grade school, that “Show and Tell” was a brilliantly conceived scam. Concocted by over-worked and underpaid school teachers, Show and Tell seemed designed to fill up a portion of the day while requiring a minimum amount of effort on their part. You know, kinda like those old Coronet 16mm movies that would drone on and on in their warbly soundtracks about how a silver mine worked, while us kids — and our teachers — took much-deserved naps in the dark. Man, am I showing my age.
Anyway, recent conversations with my Sister and sister-in-law, both of whom are elementary school teachers, have only confirmed my suspicions. But I say, if the teachers can educate without having to do any actual work, then more power to ‘em. The problem is, sometimes this spontaneous education can be a little more informative than they might be like.
That’s what Sara (Megan Edwards) finds out the hard way. Sara’s a perfectly prim and proper teacher living the perfect life…for a Stepford Wife. Recently engaged to Brett (Stephen Davies), a handsome, if dull yuppie — is there any other kind? — Sara’s life unexpectedly lurches towards the wild side when her student Jerry takes his turn on Show and Tell day. Jerry “shows” his class Virgil (Virgil Mignanelli), a burly tattoo-festooned biker who’s pretending to be Jerry’s dad. (Turns out Jerry’s real dad is a charismatic stoner, in a shockingly under-utilized subplot…) Virgil, in turn, then “Tells” the enraptured class about the misunderstood beauty of the tattoo.
While this living blue-collar canvas fascinates the class, Sara is horrified and rushes him out the door. Much like a tattoo, however, once Sara’s been exposed to Virgil, she finds it difficult to remove him from her life. Thus, as the title suggests, an unlikely romance — with all the predictable trials, tribulations and consequences that typically accompany such star-crossed pairings — ensues between them.
There’s nothing wrong with “Tattoo, A Love Story,” save for some occasional self-conscious acting. It’s a perfectly functional; at times entertaining light-hearted romp…that’s also every bit as predictable as a wristwatch. Which means that this would make a perfect Hollywood high-concept, straight-to-DVD romantic comedy if it starred, say, Kate Hudson and Jack Black. The cruel reality for director Richard W. Bean is that his film doesn’t, which means that “Tattoo, A Love Story” will probably fade into its surroundings like a forty year-old anchor tattoo.
Not fair, perhaps. But if we learned anything in grade school, it was that life isn’t necessarily fair.
Posted on January 9, 2005 in Reviews by Merle Bertrand
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